What is K-2?
Ketamine hydrochloride, also known as K-2, was discovered in 1962 and achieved the World Health Organization’s List of Essential Medicines due to its effectiveness and safety when used as an anesthetic for surgery. K-2 is a rapid-acting and intense anesthetic often administered in a powered or liquid form by veterinarians for use on animals or surgeons for use on humans. When used lawfully, surgeons or veterinarians administer K-2, a colorless liquid injected by a needle, prior to surgery. K-2 can also be used for pain management after surgery.
Ketamine has dissociative properties which create a trance-like state for an animal numbing for surgery or a person using the drug for a high. K-2 is a hallucinogen that makes a person feel a sense of detachment from reality through distortion in sight and sound.
What are the Dangers of K-2 Addiction?
K-2 has a wide range of concerns associated with it. The primary effects of K-2 last only 30 minutes to an hour, but the user can continue to have coordination disruptions and impaired judgment for up to 24 hours. K-2 is known to be a club drug with the street names of Special K, Vitamin K or Cat Valium. This drug can be injected, smoked when added to tobacco or marijuana cigarettes, snorted or swallowed straight. Ketamine is categorized as a Schedule III controlled substance as of 1999, meaning that it is allowed for medical purposes but that it should be guarded with care due to the potential for abuse.
Because of the detached, dreamy state of consciousness, it elicits, along with a certain level of muscular immobility due to the unreal experience of the user’s limbs, K-2 has found itself as one of the top “date rape” drugs. K-2 is colorless and odorless, preventing a potential rape victim form detecting the drug in a drink.
Short-term effects of this drug may include:
- surreal, dreamy state of consciousness
- attention and speaking difficulties
- learning and memory interruptions
- elevated heart rate and blood pressure
- disturbances in muscular mobility
- possible, lethal respiratory failure
Long-term effects of K-2 may include:
- kidney issues
- stomach pangs
- continued memory disruptions
- bladder pain
- continued depression
Much like a flashback from LSD, K-2 can deliver a horrifying flashback of total detachment from one’s self, where the person may feel complete isolation and panic. This is often called a “K-hole.”
Because it is often injected, the abuse of K-2 can be a breeding ground for hepatitis, HIV and other diseases transmitted through shared needles.
What are the Problems Surrounding K-2?
K-2 brings a host of issues surrounding its use. Taking excessive K-2 or combining it with other substances such as alcohol magnifies the likelihood of severe health issues and possible death. Most unlawful use of K-2 is the result of an addicted person stealing the drug in liquid form from a veterinarian. The problem with this is that the person has no way to know how much K-2 they have since the liquid and powder measurement are different.
Avoiding K-2 seems like a great solution, but when it is slipped into a drink, the person has clearly not given consent to its use. To empower yourself, it is crucial to be aware of your surroundings, never leave your drink unattended, have a “buddy,” and never take a drink from a stranger.
Why is K-2 Addictive?
K-2 has the potential to become addictive physically and psychologically. Due to the overwhelming cravings that often accompany K-2 use, it can feel near-impossible to stop using. Physically, the body has adapted to having a certain level of K-2 in the system, so when the person tries to discontinue use, the body feels out-of-whack.
Psychologically, regular use of K-2 can create dependence in the addicted person in order to feel good, handle life stressors and avoid painful feelings. When an addicted person tries to stop using a substance that has been used as a crutch for so long, their body lacks the ability to cope, and cravings and withdrawal ensue. This continued use leads to tolerance and dependence, which requires the person to increase intake in order to receive the same effects.
What are the Best Options for K-2 Addiction Recovery?
There are no medications used to treat K-2 addiction. If a person has tried to stop and hasn’t been successful, if there have been significant consequences legally or within relationships, or if a person or loved one recognizes a problem, it is important that the addicted individual get help as soon as possible.
The best treatment for K-2 addiction is a medically supervised detoxification from the substance, which is typically completed within a week. Following detox, the addicted brain needs time to heal, and admission to a residential treatment facility for a minimum of 30 days is a good next step.
After inpatient drug rehab, there are a few choices. The patient can:
- Check in to a Sober Living home to continue the group support for a life of sobriety.
- Participate in an outpatient program with individual and group therapy.
- Complete what is known as “90 in 90,” which is 90 Narcotics Anonymous meetings in 90 days.
Who Can Help Me Find K2 Rehab?
If you are ready for the next step towards addiction recovery for either you or as a family member, Adrugrehab.org can help. With so many treatment options to choose from, we know it can feel overwhelming to figure out which one is right for you. This is why our licensed counselors are available 24/7 on our free national helpline to answer all of your questions and provide professional recommendations and confidential referrals. Let us support your brave step towards recovery today!